While bathing my dogs yesterday, I remembered something from my RI librarian days that has parallels with the coming presidential election.
The day-to-day running of the library was left to elected student leaders. No big deal as all the leaders elected were from the same mould as the typical librarian: quiet, hardworking and never challenging the system. But one yr, when I was one of the leaders, there was a problem.
The problem was that we had the equivalent of Dr Chee Soon Juan (Oh alright, I exaggerate: a Tan Kin Lian) among the junior librarians. There was this hyper-active boy who was extremely bright but “lazy”, and forever challenging authority, i.e. us. He was extremely popular with the other junior librarians for that reason. How he ever got through the selection process to be a librarian still puzzles me to this day.
Anyway a mgt meeting was called to talk abt how we would work with him if he got elected? The consensus was we couldn’t work with him. In hindsight, this showed how arrogant and dumb we were. We outnumbered him and could outvote him.
So then could we fix him either before or after the election? Should we campaign against him, warning the junior librarians that they would suffer retribution if they elected him.
Doesn’t this all sound very, very familiar? There is concern that we,”daft” S’poreans will vote in an “unsuitable” president?” Unsuitable” being defined as one who could (note not “will not”) refuse to play by the rules of those with executive power?
Coming back to my story, after a lot of discussion, it was decided that the best (and only honourable) thing we could do was to let things be, and hope the junior librarians would reject him.
Which in typical S’porean fashion is what they did. They didn’t want a trouble maker as a leader and so betrayed him despite him fighting for their rights, and them egging him on on the quiet.
So come election day, if it is either a three- or four- Tan race, TT would win. The voters will vote against their conscience, not on the merits of the candidates.